After an opening issue that was heavy on setup and gorgeous art, the next installment of Hellboy’s first field mission with the B.P.R.D continues. Is it good?
Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. 1952 #2 (Dark Horse Comics)
The drunk priest from last issue takes poor little Olavo with him to find and vanquish the demon haunting their creepy castle. As you might imagine, things don’t go well.
While the B.P.R.D team investigates the murder scene, the movie producer who uses the mountain castle as a shooting location shows up. Hellboy is sent off to babysit Olavo (who is understandably still in shock) while the rest of the team is offered a tour of the castle by the shady film exec. Xiang gets a bad feeling about him (which turns out to be correct) and deftly convinces the rest of the team to politely retreat.
Meanwhile, Hellboy is getting drunk with a nun when a demon monkey shows up. As he tries to take it down, the gunfire causes the rest of the B.P.R.D team to rush to his location. Unfortunately, the highly trained operatives all have Stormtrooper aim, which allows the beast to escape.
The group decides to split up to give them a better chance of finding the creature. Hellboy goes with Traitorous Bob, who ends the issue with what could generously be described as a dick move.
Is It Good?
This one’s tough to rate. On one hand, the art by Alex Maleev is stunning. It feels absolutely perfect for the era and atmosphere of the story.
The story itself, on the other hand, is a little bland. I mean, sure, it’s cool to see Hellboy going up against a cool looking hellspawn, but some of the plot points feel way too predictable. With regards to Bob’s nature and treachery, writers Mignola and Arcudi beat the readers over the head with a foreshadowing stick. At one point I wanted to cry out “Alright, we get it! He’s a jerk!” Not only is what he does at the end of the issue completely expected, but the fact that Hellboy is still alive today doesn’t help the issue’s cliffhanger carry much weight.
The twist with the movie producer also felt a little too obvious (Although to be fair, there are enough evil movie producers in the real world that their appearance in fiction can often be assumed as sinister presence).
After two issues, Hellboy and the B.P.R.D isn’t groundbreaking or even all that interesting; it’s just a pretty good, beautifully drawn Hellboy tale. That may not be what we were hoping for from such a high caliber creative team, but it’s still not bad, either.